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If You Understand This Key Idea, You’ll Surely Have A Healthy Relationship With Yourself

If You Understand This Key Idea, You’ll Surely Have A Healthy Relationship With Yourself

Do you remember “that kid” whose mom was a clingy, smothering mess? You know the one we usually made fun of and teased relentlessly? The one we dubbed “Mama’s Boy.” “That kid’s” mom was always around and always over-mothering. She hovered, babied and embarrassed the snot out of that poor kid.

As “that kid” grew older, mom became even more clingy. Eventually, the poor kid just gave up. He barely had any friends, couldn’t have a girlfriend and ended up going to the prom with his mom. When it was time for “that kid” to attend college, his mother had a panic attack and was hospitalized (briefly) when he suggested attending a college out of town—not out of state—out of town. “That kid” is now an unmarried 40-year-old who lives in his mom’s basement and manages the local supermarket.

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The dangers of over-attachment

We’ve all heard statements like, “you are the air I breathe,” “the curve in my smile” or “the reason I get out of bed in the morning.” And on the surface, they sound extremely sweet, iconic, passionate, and intense but in reality, they are dangerous. Idolizing and clinging to a person, relationship or material possession leads to undue fear, irrational thinking and can have catastrophic results. Understanding that you are a complete person with and without your possessions, relationships, status, wealth and/or power is the key to mental stability and allows you to cope with the hurricanes the winds of change inevitably bring.

What non-attachment is

The concept of non-attachment is attributed to the Buddist religion as this is a fundamental practice of Buddhist monks, however, most religions (including Christianity) and pop culture psychology advocate a healthy dose of detachment in our everyday lives and relationships.

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Non-attachment is an objective and practical way of viewing the world, relationships and possessions. It is a choice that drives one’s perspective to view things, situations and people as they truly are. This thought pattern allows an individual to make rational and pragmatic decisions that are not fear-based, selfish, biased or based on one’s current emotional state.

Non-attachment breaks the bonds of clinginess and unhealthy dependence so many relationships experience and foster a relationship steeped in open and honest communication and promotes interdependence.

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What non-attachment is not

Non-attachment is not indifference, apathy, uncaring or the absence of emotions. Feelings don’t cease to exist. Individuals simply choose to relate to them differently because they understand their ephemeral nature.

Practicing non-attachment can benefit your relationships

Change is an inevitable part of life. You must expect, accept and embrace it in order to maintain your sanity and to keep moving forward. Babies grow up. The kids will eventually move out. Grandparents die. Lovers quarrel. These are facts. Being overly attached or dependent on anything is the recipe for disaster and precipitates the unhappiness and deep pain so many people experience unnecessarily. Non-attachment is the practice of developing a healthy view and relationship with the world around you. Here are a few keys to help you break your unhealthy attachments:

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  • Be present in the now: Things may change. He or she may leave you; someone may be a victim of a violent crime; you could lose everything in a tragic house fire…these things COULD happen. But they haven’t. Worrying is not a preventative measure. It inhibits you from experiencing the joys of now and robs you of the time you do have with people, places and things.
  • Develop a healthy view of yourself: Learn to love yourself as you are right now. Strip away all of the external factors: your looks, your career, your accomplishments, your friends and family members, and love the essence of who you are at this very moment.
  • Identify areas of unhealthy attachments and work to develop a healthy and realistic view of those things: The easiest way to identify an unhealthy attachment is to think about those things you are deathly afraid of losing. Also, think about your sources of validation. Where do you draw your sense of identity? Another person? A job? Being a parent? Once you’ve identified these areas, work on confronting the fear. What would you do without them or it? How would you move on?

Non-attachment is about existing in the present moment and acknowledging what is actually happening now. It gives you the power and capacity to shift or change a situation and not be a victim to it.

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Denise Hill

Denise shares about psychology and communication tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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